One Little Room, an Everywhere

Remembering what I wanted.

A year after we lost the house, on a chilly summer day, my mother refused to get out of the car. That is the only sentence written in my journal. Mom refuses to get out of the car. We were in a dirt parking lot one block away from our old house. Neither of us had visited the house since it had been foreclosed upon one year earlier. I was 20. My mother was now living with my grandfather in a town forty miles away.. . . Read more
Hayley Byrnes
On Shame and Moving Forward

An essay by Bria Godley.

I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in Chapel Hill that is separated from Section Eight housing by one major road, its name recently changed from Airport Road to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. If Chapel Hill were its own state, it wouldn’t swing like North Carolina. Not only are there Obama stickers everywhere, but every other car also has one of those goofy/clever “Coexist” bumper stickers on it. It seemed like all the parents I knew were somehow connected to either Duke or the. . . Read more
Bria Godley
Look and See

An essay by Taylor Eldridge.

I hiccupped into the phone as hot tears spilled down my cheeks. My face burned and my voice caught in my throat as I tried to explain to my mom what I had just found out—the superintendent of the residential college I was living in as part of my summer job was refusing to let me move out of the roach-infested room. They were taking the word of the white girl in a suite with an empty room in another college. She admitted she didn’t. . . Read more
Taylor Eldridge
Skin Like Soil

An essay by Dave Harris.

You first learn that you are Black in a kindergarten classroom. Your friend Shawn opens his eyes and sees you. From head to toe. he asks “Why are you covered in dirt?” You spend all recess in the bathroom cleaning your skin—you, palms full of soap, the endlessly cold water, and a group of boys for whom you have no name other than “friends.” An army of fingernails scrubs your hands until the flesh is raw and pruned. All the life rinsed from the skin.. . . Read more
Dave Harris

Translations of “to take.”

Andalucía has fewer words than I do. One of my professors here tells me English has three or four ways of saying anything in Castilian, Spain’s most-spoken Spanish, the one we speak here, in Granada. Some say the ratio’s more like 2-to-1. The comparison gets harder when you think about all the country’s unofficial tongues—Basque, Catalan, Galician—but going by my five-pound Spanish-English dictionary, the limit’s on the Castilian side. Sometimes I like that about Spanish, that there’s less of it. Madura: it means both ripe. . . Read more
Devon Geyelin
The Anthropology of One

Working through loneliness in Buenos Aires.

The woman I’m interviewing reaches across the yellowed plastic table and takes my chapped hands between her own. I’ll call her Lucía. She is middle-aged, with creases around her eyes but girlish dimples on her cheeks. We are sitting in a dimly lit café on the edge of the sprawling slum, or villa, where she lives in Buenos Aires. I have just asked if she misses her home in Peru. It’s June, winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and she pulls her thickly knit sweater tighter. . . Read more
Juliet Glazer

A layered look a the human body

I used to know two quarrelsome sisters, the younger of whom had a thing about skin cells. When they fought, the older sister’s coup de force would be to strip naked, run into the younger sister’s bedroom, and roll around in her sheets, yelling “SKIN CELLS SKIN CELLS!” It’s the first thing I think of in the Yale Mammalian Evolutionary Morphology Lab at 10 Sachem Street as Dr. Gary Aronsen, the lab manager, lifts a top-hinged cabinet door and wheels out a table. Much like. . . Read more
Katy Osborn
On Roadside Shrines and Being Far From Home

A globetrotting Yalie reflects on tragedy at home

Madeleine Witt I’m in Mumbai when Samantha dies, and Siem Reap when I find out. I see it on Facebook, which is how I always learn that an acquaintance has died. It’s 5:00 a.m., and my circadian rhythms are upside down. The air beyond my hotel room window is warm and soggy, and it’s fogging up the glass. The air-conditioning on my face feels like it would be chlorine-blue if I could see it. The room smells like perfume and bleach fumes. I’ve promised myself. . . Read more
Nimal Eames-Scott

A Yale alumnus reflects on a trauma that struck us all.

T-minus three hours. Your alarm goes off at 6:30 AM. You wake up having no idea that today you will watch a woman die. T-minus two hours. Your residential college’s student council, on which you’re a sophomore representative, is the first to arrive at the tailgate. This is a victory, the chance to pick the best patch of grass. When the party starts, your grills will be prime real estate. You think there might be some advantage to being away from the crowds, but you’re. . . Read more
Eric Baudry
No Mirrors in My Nana’s House

A dancer reflects.

Illustration by Devon Geyelin I’ve been thinking about mirrors. Mainly, I’ve been remembering that, for some months not too long ago, I took it upon myself to have a strange daily encounter with a mirror, every day except Sunday. Often I’d spend several hours in front of the mirror in the morning, and then again in the evening. I’d go home and eat alone in my bedroom, and I’d fall asleep soon after. I’d wake up and do it again. Because most days looked alike,. . . Read more
Navy Encinias